Thursday, 15 June 2017

Rangers' league prospects - first, second or third?

 Article by: Ibrox Noise

Making predictions is a fool’s game. There are so many factors to consider that making a punt on the future is why you will never see a skint bookie. So while this article will shamelessly indulge in it anyway, just remember that forecasts are as reliable as the weather. And weather forecasts.

That all said, there is definitely a shift in the shape of the SPL for next season; so without further ado let us try to sift through it and see where we think Rangers are capable of ending up.

Celtic will win the title. They are too strong for anyone by a mile, and after they get papped out of Europe by November they will have just domestic football to deal with. And that is a problem for everyone else. They may sell Dembele, but it will make little difference anyway.

However it is below them where the intrigue begins. Aberdeen were a clear second last season, and justifiably. But it is all change this summer at Pittodrie. Ryan Jack has gone, and Jonny Hayes looks like he will follow him. Niall McGinn and Peter Pawlett have all left too, and there is the small matter of their manager Derek McInnes in talks to become the new Sunderland boss. In short, the strong Aberdeen regime is being broken up and being weakened.

Meanwhile Ian Cathro’s Hearts are nowhere. They finished fifth and have been on a downward spiral since they lost Robbie Neilson. They have also lost their crucial RB Callum Paterson and a host of others so unless the signature of Christophe Berra changes all that, there is little reason to assume much better for them next time around.

Then there is St Johnstone. A solid SPL side, they were very pleased with their fourth-placed finish. Could Tommy Wright’s canny management oust both Aberdeen and Hearts in the table? As long as there is not too much disruption at McDiarmid, it is possible.

There is also the mitigating uncertainty of a rather impressive Hibs regime. Neil Lennon did a sterling job with the Easter Road team, and although they are likely to lose Jason Cummings, they should really be a comfortably top 6 team at least next season. It is worth remembering that they conceded less goals than Rangers did the previous season in the same division, and won the title by 11 points, oddly enough the same number as Rangers did. So they will be a credible and difficult side and not for dismissing.

And last but not least the business end; Rangers. With the weakening of a major rival for second, and Hearts unlikely to improve all that much, in concert with Rangers’ massive overhaul, expectations are definitely growing regarding a convincing second place finish at least.

It is sad that we cannot really envisage a title fight – maybe a bit of a fist of one till Celtic get their afterburners on, but the consolation is this Rangers squad is going in the direction of being the clear and distant best of the rest by some mileage.

That is the minimum expectation in light of the sheer influx this summer.

29 comments:

  1. Solid article, can't argue with that. I suspect Hibs will be looking to upset some odds, but I think they will struggle to replace Cummings. 20 a season guys aren't ten a penny and we all know the gulf in class stepping up to the top.
    Still wish we had gone for Cummings, but can't complain at the moment.

    We've got to be looking for a commanding second and single figure points between us and them at the top.

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  2. Agree with the article but would be much happier to see a good RB and Tavernier moved or on the bench --it has been our weak spot throughout our previous games

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  3. Realistically unless the Rotten Mob sign 3 or 4 quality players we will challenge them I mean that honestly...they are not great at the back ....hopefully someone else has a proper go at them too to help

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    1. how can u say a treble winning team who never lost a domestic game all season aren't good at the back????

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  4. Yes a good second place this season including a victory against the other side is realistic. Also good cup runs, maybe even winning one, and, miracle of miracles, a decent run in Europe. It's important to have some ambition. Mon the Gers.

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    1. think ur spot on with that one as 2nd place for me is a formality

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  5. Good friend of mine follows Hibs and all last season he said although Hibs would go up they struggled in many games in a poor Championship,can't really see them finishing in the top four next season. As for Rangers lets face it they cannot afford another season like last, i really think we thought too much about ourselves last season before a ball was kicked ,and the large share if not all the blame was down to the bread man.

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  6. Everyone else is losing players while we are gaining loads. And some with International experience which will make the difference in big games. We prob won't win the league but Celtic will be looking over there shoulder all the way. Though the old firm games might make the difference, especially since Celtic are losing some players too, if we do finish 2nd I would expect it be the smallest 1st-2nd point gap since 2012

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    1. sorry but 20 points will do if being realistic as we don't even know how these players will turn out can only look back to last season Barton niko and roaster etc

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    2. Kran was injured so cant count him, barton isnt an internalional player and never was, 10 points ,ax imwould say cause celtic are weekening and dont have the money they like to think, they owe desmond almost £50 million, and hes under investigation of the inmf, who are looking to block all his assesets, which if they do celtic need to find the money that desmond gives them, which is at least £6-8 million per season in soft loans

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  7. I personally think you are all muppets. Expecting 2nd best. Look at the quality of signings, have you done your research on these players? I suggest you do! Pena is utter class, Aleves is probably still in the top 10 centre halfs in the world. I reckon we will take them this year. Your site, time and time slaughter the boy tavernier, why? He is without doubt one of the most offensive right backs we have had at the club, you slaughter the guy because you don't understand football and the fact that the denfensive unit has struggled. It's no coinsidance that James is a big part of Pedros plans. I rate some of the content on this site, however I don't think you realise what is happening at our club and the statement we are making, the wind is changing. Stop talking 2nd best and get up for the battle that lies ahead. The board deserve credit. This is the biggest statement of intent since the we general came through the door.

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    1. Personally I think you're full of shit, and are getting a little carried away with yourself. Alves has had an impressive career for sure, but the fact is he will be 36 this year, and to suggest he's a top centre is frankly ridiculous. Pena may not even get a work permit as he's no longer in the international picture, and his age is against. You claim that he's utter class but I would bet you're never seen this guy play? And the reason why Tavernier gets slaughtered is patently obvious, the guy couldn't tackle a fish supper if his life depended on it. Yes we are making some progress but there's a long way to go and lets not get carried away. Celtic are well ahead of us on and off the pitch and have yet to flex their financial muscle in this window, but they will when the transfer window opens. Wouldn't be too concerned about them signing Hayes but that will not be the end of their transfer business.

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    2. Sorry Craig got to agree with Rab on this one, We need realistic targets and 2nd place with a 10-15 point gap is the best we can hope for. Pena is 28 and has been on loan in Mexico , what other clubs do you know that loan 28 yo players of high quality to other teams in the same league, it just doesn't happen all that often which makes me think he isn't as good as we would hope though the jury is out until we see him play. Scotland is a step down from the Mexican league so maybe he will prosper , same for Herrera. Loaned out by his club last year as well. As for Tav i do believe there is a player in there somewhere but his lack of urgency when tracking back puts him in the position where any goal lost from the right side of the box could be blamed on his absence from his RB position. Its all good being an attacking RB but he must not forget his defensive duties. Does he lack overall fitness for this role ? i think he does. Adding in that his final ball isn't that amazing i do believe we need a 1st choice RB to be brought in. Could Tav play RM , possibly though he wasn't all that impressive in that position last year. Back to the Mexicans , i remember not too long ago Celtic paid 4mil for a guy called jauerz , he was coming to Celtic with a big rep from Mexico as there star for the future, it just didnt work out for him and the moved massively slowed down his career. Sometimes these players cant settle in new environments , i hope this doesn't happen to our new guys if we get them but to say we are aiming for the league before we have a set 11 or seen them play is blue tinted glasses at its best. We need to be realistic.

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  8. Being No1 is often not the most difficult achievment but staying there is, especially after a treble success and undefeated in league play. Brendan Rodgers will have a very difficult time motivating these same players second time around. Early in the season they possible knew they could go undefeated and it was a great motivator for them. Some of the great Rangers teams during the nine in a row ere slipped up regularly against some of the smaller sides. If Rangers next year can go out with the same mentality that Souness brought in his first year then the really crucial games will be against Celtic. When we were going for ten in a row we were so far ahead by Christmas that I thought we could go on to make it twelve and have thhe perfect calendar, twelve months with each month a title winning team. Then came the injury to March Nego who had already banged in about 36 goals. Walter announced he was leaving at the end of the season and instead of that having a galvanising effect on the team it seemed to have the opposite effect. Gasgoine's head was elsewhere and eventually left for Middlesborough. Jonas Thern had a serious knee injury. Once a few points were dropped against loweer sides doubt and nerves took effect and eventually the title was lost on the last day. So really all I am saying is we will be right in there at the death and we can win it. Three weeks ago everyone was saying we are five years behind still behind Celtic, now we are five minutes behind. Keep the faith.

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  9. Can't really argue. It's going to take some time to bed in the new recruits but I doubt if that mob will ever have as good a season as they had last year. To really challenge them we need to consistently beat the other 10 teams (home and away) and if we can get off to a good start then we can at least apply some pressure and see how they react. I certainly don't think it's impossible for us to win it next year but it's going to be tough. I also believe that Aberdeen will struggle to reach the same heights next season and Hearts are nowhere near good enough at the moment under Cathro so it should be a two horse race. If we can hit the ground running and win the first 5 or 6 games then it should make for a very exciting season.

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  10. A good realistic article from Ibrox noise. All depends on how our new players gel and adapt to our game. I feel we will have a slight upper hand playing in competitive European football, as opposed to friendlies before the season starts, therefore hopefully hit the ground running in August.
    Hibs and Hearts will be formidable next season. I think Cathro isn't far off the mark with his team and could be the team to watch next season.
    I agree with Cammy, we seriously need to fill that RB position with someone solid and reliable, cause Tavenier just leaks goals like water from a tap!.
    The players coming in are of a good standard. If we had decent centre halves and strikers last season, we wouldn't have been far off against shellic, so quietly optimistic for the season ahead, but a solid second place is probably the best we will get next season and hopefully a cup thrown in.

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  11. Good interesting article Ed, and as usual you put your head in the chopping block. I see that Cammy agrees with me regarding Tavernier at right back - wing back or on the bench or get money for him. He is an absolute liability as a full back. His positional sense is so poor and he loses the ball far too easily. We need to be harder to beat this season if we are to compete with Celtic.

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  12. The positive thing so far about Pedro's signings is that there is a spine to the team now (if they stay fit!) Hopefully with a better quality of midfielder and defender we won't be left open as much in the wide areas.

    Can't see us winning the league next year but surely put up a better fist of it in old firm games. If they gel quickly and Pedro can impose his style and win our first handfull of games it might just make they c£#ts think a bit and put a bit of pressure on!! Hopefully we get Dorran's & Walker in soon and we won't be far away from kicking off. Here's hoping for a better crack at it this year. #goingfor55

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  13. Keep the pressure off our lads and go for 2nd this season. If we are within a few points of Celtic by Feb then we can get excited.

    Aim to win the league season after next following another two transfer windows...

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  14. Getting away slightly from the above posts here,i would like to share my theory,on 1 of the main reasons,aberdeen manager derek mcinnes,has turned down the sunderland job this evening!Here goes fellow bears!The job delboy mcinnes craves above all others is the glasgow rangers manager's job!He thought he had it before caixinha was named,as he had big support from 2 directors at rangers,along with our legendary ex manager,walter smith!!When he didn't get it,his nose was well knocked out of joint!Mcinnes knows sunderland is currently a very unstable football club, with a takeover of ownership in the process!He also knows by staying at aberdeen,there's a much easier process of him becoming the rangers manager,if caixinha isn't successful!He'll want to prove right under the rangers directors noses,by continuing doing well at the sheep,that he is the next rangers manager in the waiting!He wants to be the rangers manager so bad it hurts!I haven't got 1 shred of doubt about it!Walter smith also wanted mcinnes to get the rangers job and smith actually thought mcinnes did have it,2 days before caixinha was named!Everybody knows that mcinnes would walk over broken glass,all the way from aberdeen, to be the rangers manager!He feels its his destiny,to be the famous glasgow rangers manager,one day!Thoughts fellow bears?

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    1. Hi Robert,
      You could easily be correct, because if Pedro does not make it at Rangers, then they must go with Derek McInnes, who I rate highly as a good Scottish manager.

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    2. Funny that's all over the Daily Record the now Robert....

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  15. We have to hit the ground running this season if we have any impact on the outcome of our league position next May. If we sustain our position in European competition and qualify into the group stages, I hope we do purely for financial reasons, but I think this could see us having a detrimental effect on our league position at the end of the season.
    I would expect us to be second, halving the gap between us and them . To me we have to get into 2nd minimum next year. I wouldn't envisage we could win the league, but I do hope we do.

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  16. For me it'll be a solid second place. We are the only team capable of beating celtic next season. If we're only half a dozen points behind by xmas I'll take that. Having said that we now have a team with way more ability with steel and grit and not lightweight so who knows? Looking forward to change rather than just a repeat of last season!

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  17. Good article, but we remain a ticking time bomb at board level, it will go off soon, hate to say it but King is just adding to our ruin, the mess remains Mr King, you are right to be optimistic about the new players, wrong to think glory days are back, not with leadership that is about to impload, it will happen. J

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    1. So J in your wisdom what is going to happen? I mean who is the right man for the job? King is no angel but he's a country mile in front of Ashley for being a better man at the helm..So come on enlighten us all with your superb knowledge of all things Rangers!

      Either that or you're full of pish and from the east of the City

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  18. It's an interesting topic to say the least.

    Ideally 1st should always be the ultimate goal, 2nd would be the target and 3rd is the bare minimum as you never want to go backwards (not that you'd want to stand still.)

    There's an issue though, and that's financial fair play... I fully believe we are spending above our means and you're only allowed to pump a certain figure of cash into the club to help with the runnings (20M I believe) and this was done last season without the cash being splashed.

    There's also the conundrum of home-grown players. Sure, these signings are a signal of intent, but due to the influx they'll most likely be for the SPL and not an assault on Europe because we'd struggle to register them all.

    Second at best for me. Third is likely, fourth would be a nightmare if Hearts or Hibs get their house in order... and let's not forget St Johnston

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  19. Good article and even better opinions from everybody above. My humble opinion and for what's it worth is this -
    Rangers players will be busting a gut to improve on last season. The Board are backing Ped and his choices of players get Dorrans over the line and Walker may have to run his contract down till the Winter.
    It's a new first team squad near added they might need a bit of time to gel or hit the ground running straight away..No Club has the right to a league title it must be earned the hard way on the pitch. Old Firm games will be a clincher this year they will determine who wins the prize.
    My prediction for this season - Rangers 2nd to Celtic by less than a 10 point margin and Rangers to lift a Cup..
    Hope I'm wrong and we get it right up them and win the league...
    Onwards & Upwards 🇬🇧

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  20. Am going go for number one spot £100 on 7/1 not bad bet after all we are now a team
    not a bunch of fools we now see the light and big BA is the man to lead us to the top.

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